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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) organises academic events in order to provide the broader public as well as an expert audience with regular insights into the most recent research results in the fields of Holocaust, genocide, and racism research. These events, some of which extend beyond academia in the stricter sense, take on different formats ranging from small lectures to the larger Simon Wiesenthal Lectures and from workshops addressing an expert audience to larger international conferences and the Simon Wiesenthal Conferences. This reflects the institute’s wide range of activities.


The range of events further extends to the presentation of selected new publications on the institute’s topics of interest, interventions in the public space, the film series VWI Visuals, and the fellows’ expert colloquia.



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Anat Gilboa: Imaging the Unimaginable. The Holocaust in Israeli Visual Culture

Tuesday, 10. December 2019, 18:00 - 20:00

Wiener Wiesenthal Institute, Research Lounge, 1010 Vienna, Rabensteig 3, 3rd Floor


This talk analyses the reconstruction of traditional concepts of the ‘Jewish mother’ through visual culture. Based on the 1943 photograph of the Warsaw Ghetto by the Viennese-born Nazi officer Franz Konrad, Nir Hod, an Israeli-born artist, created a series of paintings entitled Mother (2012). In the series, one of the photographed women is painted on several large canvases. The work was influenced by the postwar German artist Gerhard Richter, whose photography-based paintings such as Onkel Rudi (1965) were important references for the Israeli artist. Hod chose to depict an overlooked female figure in the photo and painted her. As opposed to the German artist, whose paintings underline the importance of documenting Germany’s Nazi past and its ideology, Hod chose not to commemorate the past but to use the photograph to paint a better future.

In her talk, Dr. Gilboa will argue that Hod’s work is a visual discourse, promoting cultural internationality and gender equality. She will demonstrate that he utilises the photograph-based painting not just as a reminder of the past, but to offer alternatives to traditional assumptions. To support this argument, she will consider discussions such as Ulrike Brunotte’s studies on traditional gender roles in Judaism as well as in antisemitism. In summary, by dedicating a series of paintings entitled Mother to an overlooked female figure in a photograph of the Warsaw Ghetto, Nir Hod created a symbolic figure of a modern woman whose role as a ‘Jewish Mother’ is a manifestation of modernity.

Please keep in mind that registration is mandatory for participation This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Please also note that, due to increased security measures, identity checking procedures may take place – Please have your passport or identity card at hand for any eventuality. By participating in this event, you agree to the publication of any photos, videos, or audio recordings created in the framework of the event.

Download the invitation as PDF.

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